Director of the Silicon Valley Program (SVP), Stephen Siegel ’87, known simply as Steve to many, announced this semester his decision to leave his positions as director of SVP and senior development officer after serving the CMC community for over 18 years. At the end of this month, Siegel will begin work as the Director of Development for the Beckman Laser Institute at the University of California, Irvine.
Siegel still remembers his first CMC tour: “It was on-campus day, and I remember my tour guide, a senior, Andy Gordon. He was just so insightful and affable, and it was just a fantastic tour. I was hooked on the first day.” He studied Economics-Accounting, having taken courses with Professor Massoud, whom he kept in touch with to this day. About two years after graduation, Siegel received a phone call from John Faranda ’79 about a job opening as Director of the Alumni Fund at CMC’s Annual Giving office. Siegel accepted the offer and worked there for two years.
He was then invited by a Scripps College alumna to apply for a position at Wheaton College in Norton, MA. He worked there for four years, transforming their Annual Giving efforts, and then pursued his MBA at the Peter F. Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. Upon completing his MBA, he founded a management consulting firm specializing in marketing and corporate strategies for medical device and pharmaceutical companies.
When the dot com bubble burst and Siegel and his partners sold their company, Faranda asked Siegel to return to CMC during a transitional period for the college. Siegel held several interim positions within CMC’s office of advancement for the following eight years. Siegel recalls, “I just took a desk and a chair and kept working. I was running the back office of development, working with the research institutes, the alumni fund, and eventually SVP [Silicon Valley Program].”
During Siegel’s time at the development office, trustee and alumnus Bart Evans ’70, who worked in Silicon Valley at the time, suggested developing a semester-long program for students to spend time in Silicon Valley and explore professional opportunities there.
The original program in Silicon Valley, organized by CMC’s Information Technology Advisory Board (ITAB), began as a week-long networking trip, which still takes place every January, where alumni and parents who work in the area host students and expose them to their fields of work. The networking trip was such a popular program that Evans, backed by former President Pamela Gann and other faculty, spearheaded the semester-long Silicon Valley program, asking for Siegel’s help. Siegel, moved by Bart’s determination and enthusiasm, volunteered to be the inaugural Director of the new Silicon Valley Program.
Now almost four years into the semester-long program, over 100 students have participated in SVP. “SVP is really an innovative program that no other undergraduate college has tapped into,” Siegel commented; “CMC has a very distinct mission, which is to give students an education that can be applied to modern challenges. SVP plays very nicely into how CMC conceptualizes education.”
Siegel has made many contributions crucial to CMC’s overall success as an institution, including helping to close multiple million-dollar donations to the college. Siegel has also formed relationships with countless people during his time at CMC. For one, he found internships for every student who applied and was accepted to SVP. As Varun Puri ’16, one of the many students to form a friendship with Siegel, put it: “Steve has always put us first.”
Students and peers who know Siegel will continue to remember him as a respectable professional and a loyal friend. At Siegel’s farewell reception on campus, Vice President for Development and External fundraising Ernie Iseminger said of Steve, “I respect and owe him so much, his character, his professionalism.”
A close colleague and RDS Director of Admissions and Programs Brian Dennis added, “After 18 years of service to CMC and countless volunteer hours, I can’t imagine a more loyal person to CMC than Steve.”
All photos by Wes Edwards CMC ’18